Thursday, July 18, 2013


I was reminded recently of the power of kindness. Some friends had their second baby and sent me an email letting me know when he was born and that photos etc would probably start showing up on facebook. They wanted to prepare me because though they know I'm overjoyed for them, they understand that these things are just difficult for me since Toren died. It was a kindness they didn't have to show but they did it anyway. This is what we mean when we talk about friendship. Friends who don't complain that their joy is being sullied by someone else's sorrowful reality. They don't make a big pointless fuss about it. They see that the road ahead is a challenge for everyone involved and they figure out how to navigate it as best they can, with compassion.

The MISS Foundation's Kindness Project is one way bereaved parents, when they feel ready, can experience the magic of kindness. I love this description of how Dr Joanne Cacciatore started the Kindness Project in memory of her stillborn daughter:
"Dr Jo began to seek out ways to keep Cheyenne's memory alive within her family and to the rest of the world: She wanted to create a quiet legacy. She wanted people to know that Cheyenne existed and, more importantly, she wanted to help change the lives of others because of her presence on this earth."
Cheyenne's birthday, July 27, was chosen as the one day in the year when everyone is invited to do an act of kindness. According to the MISS Foundation's fb page: "The idea is to perform random acts of anonymous kindness in your community. A little card is left behind so that the person who benefits from the kindness knows that a precious child's life and death continues to matter. This beautiful movement has helped thousands of families to heal and find positive outlets for their overwhelming grief."

We were given kindness cards by a family from our support network last year and we used one in Toren's name. I say "we" but I was too shy and self-conscious so I made Pete do it! He reported a lovely reaction from the vendor at the farmer's market who helped us do our random act of kindness.

Dr Jo does one kind act every single day. This year, on July 27, our family will do two acts of kindness - they will both be on behalf of Toren, but one will also be to celebrate the safe and joyful arrival of baby Marshall and to pass his parents' kindness from us onto someone else.

1 comment: